There are a lot of people who ride all year round. Some bikers need to use their motorcycle to get to work or even to pop to the shops. Adding some after-market accessories such as heated grips, heated seats and winterproof safety gear will undoubtedly keep them warm in the colder months. However, while this helps to combat the chilly temperatures, it doesn’t help you navigate the icy roads. It leaves us with the question, is riding in winter worth the risk?
In the United Kingdom, the council’s treatment of ice on the roads doesn’t leave many bikers filled with confidence. If you are one of the unlucky ones who come off their bike on an icy way, making a comeback against the Highways Authority is often very difficult. This means that if you ride your bike in winter and the ice causes you to come off, you will most likely be left with the repair bill.
So what does the law say?
The relevant law can be found at Section 41(l)(a) of the Highway’s Act 1980 which states that if you can prove you fell off on the ice, the burden of proof reverses, and the Highway Authority has to prove it had a reasonable system of ice management.
What’s considered evidence?
Even after coming off your bike and sliding down a dual carriageway on your back while your motorcycle follows behind unfortunately wouldn’t be considered proof. What is considered evidence? Well, effectively, you would have to show that the road’s winter safety plan was so foolish that it really cannot be justified.
This means that claiming ice on roads is extremely difficult. The Court will examine multiple factors such as the cost and the usage of the road. For example, it would be reasonable not to grit infrequently used roads. However, it would be fair to grid the main road leading up to a hospital, for instance.
Does this mean I can’t claim?
If there is ice on the roads, it is challenging to get recompensated for it, even if the law looks favourable on paper, but it is always worth giving us a call to see if we can assist.
Is riding your motorcycle in winter worth the risk?
Our advice is to think carefully and consider all your options before you take your bike onto the roads where the risk of ice is present. Sometimes using a car or public transport is better in the long run than damaging your motorcycle and yourself.